Daughters and Cells of Lewes Priory

There were ten religious houses dependent on Lewes, eight in England and two in Normandy. Some of these were substantial priories and others small cells. The Monasticon Anglicanum 1825 is a rich source of information on the abbeys and monasteries of England and Wales, albeit before more recent scholarly enquiry. There are entries on all the English daughter houses of Lewes Priory. There are also links to further information on all the UK Cluniac sites.

Castle Acre

The Priory, Castle Acre
Wikimedia Commons image

Priory of Castle Acre, near Swaffham, Norfolk, founded by William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey, about 1087 and dedicated to St Mary. Surrendered to the Crown in 1537. William's wife died at Castle Acre in 1085.
It is now an English Heritage property.

Castle Acre website
British History Online entry

Castle Acre also had dependent houses:

Priory of Bromholm founded in 1113 by William de Glanville and dedicated to St Andrew.

Cell of Slevesholm (also known as Methwold) founded in 1140 by William de Warenne, 3rd Earl of Surrey and dedicated to the the Blessed Virgin and St. Giles.

Priory of Mendham, Suffolk, was founded by William de Huntingfield before 1155 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. After the dissolution it became a private residence which fell into decay and was eventually demolished in 1815.

Priory of Normansburgh founded about 1160 by William de Liseurs and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin and St John the Evangelist.


Remains of Thetford Priory
Wikimedia Commons image

Thetford Priory, Abbeygate, Thetford, Norfolk founded in 1103 by Roger Bigod 1st Earl of Norfolk and dedicated to Our Lady of Thetford. Dissolved in 1540. Site now under the care of English Heritage.

British History Online entry

Thetford had two dependent houses:

Priory of Little Horkesley: near Colchester Essex founded in 1135 by Robert de Horkesley.

Cell of Wangford: Wangford, Suffolk founded in 1159.


Prittlewell Priory
Image from Wikimedia Commons

Priory of Prittlewell, Southend, Essex, founded probably in 1110 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary by Robert fitzSweyn, who had received great land holdings from Edward the Confessor. He later gave the Priory to Lewes. After the dissolution it remained in private hands until it became the first museum of Southend in 1922.

Southend Museums
British History Online entry


St Laurence, Church, Steeple
Wikimedia Commons image

Priory of Stanesgate, Steeple, Maldon, Essex, founded in 1112 by Ralph, son of Brian, and dedicated to St Mary Magdalen.  It was dissolved in 1525 by an agent of Cardinal Wolsey when there was only the prior and two monks. The church was used as a barn but there is now little remaining above ground.

British History Online entry

Monkton Farleigh

Monks' Conduit
© Bradford on Avon Museum

Priory of Farleigh, Monkton Farleigh, near Bath, Somerset, founded probably by Maud, wife of Humphrey de Bohun, in 1125 and dedicated to St Mary Magdalen. At the dissolution there were only six monks and the property passed to the Dukes of Somerset under whose ownership it became Monkton Farleigh Manor.

British History Online entry



Clifford Castle ruins
© Humphrey Bolton. Wikimedia Commons image

Clifford Priory, Priory Farm, Clifford, Herefordshire, was founded by Simon Fitz Richard Fitz Ponce in 1129-30. It appears it was never an alien house but owed allegiance to Lewes.

Monks Horton

Horton Priory
© Adam Hinks. Creative Commons image

Priory of Horton, near Ashford, Kent, founded about 1142 by Robert de Vere and dedicated to St John the Evangelist. At the dissolution many of the buildings were demolished and the remainder became a private house.


Heacham Church
Public domain image

Cell of Hitcham. In 1085 the manor of Heacham, Norfolk was given by William de Warenne to a cell of Cluniac monks from Lewes to pray for the soul of his late wife Gundrada. After the dissolution, around 1541, the manor passed to Thomas Howard, 3rd Duke of Norfolk.

British History Online entry


There were two dependencies of Lewes in Normandy but information about them is scarce. Both were relatively poor with only a prior and one or two monks. It is thought that Mortemer was founded in the 11th and Etoutteville in the 12th century. They remained attached to Lewes until the loss of Normandy left them under the rule of France.